The Incorrectness of Trampolines
Bouncing in the backyard has long been a favorite pastime for Queensland children but new research shows that trampolining is one of the most dangerous activities for those aged six and under. In Queensland, about 1500 children visit hospital emergency departments with trampoline-related injuries each year, most with a broken bone from falling off the equipment. The Queensland Injury Surveillance Unit found that 93 per cent of trampoline accidents happened at home and 20 per cent were admitted to hospital.
Christopher Mobbs, an emergency medicine specialist at Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital and co-author of the study, said that of trampoline injuries in children aged under 15, 48 per cent were in children under six. “The big outcome from this study is that children under the age of six are the most commonly injured and that was nearly half of all injuries we saw in that age group in this study,” Dr Mobbs said. “Children under the age of six shouldn’t be allowed to use trampolines because of the increased risk of injury to that age group.” The study was done on children presenting at Sydney Children’s Hospital in 2004 and last year, during which time 152 trampoline injuries were recorded.
Olympic trampoline silver medalist Ji Wallace, from Logan south of Brisbane, admitted it was just luck that prevented him being injured when he used to play on the family trampoline when he was a child. He said parents needed to be more aware of the seriousness of trampoline injuries and be in the back yard when children were using the trampoline. “It’s just like a swimming pool – you don’t throw the kids in the pool and say, ‘there you go, see you later’,” Mr Wallace said.
Dr. Mobbs said one of the major recommendations to come out of the study was the need for proper and constant adult supervision for children old enough to safely use a trampoline…
National Trampoline Sports Management chairman Chuck Smith said there were many benefits to trampolining, including aerobic exercise and learning acrobatic skills. “Children learn how to move, how to control themselves in the air and they learn how to have fun doing what they can’t do on the ground – it’s a bit like being weightless or being in space,” Mr Smith said.